London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
One of our best trips out of London, so we ventured back to Waddesdon Manor with kids on an autumn Saturday with dramatic wide skies and unpredictable weather. What better than a National Trust formerly Rotschild owned and a bohemian Waddesdon Manor afternoon tea on such day?!?
Quite different to our first time 4 years ago, when I fell in love with this country house designed as a French chateau for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.
Back in July 2013, the summer was in full bloom, I was heavily pregnant and we had the most peaceful and enchanting day mostly lying in the grass, soaking in the sun and picnicking.
The grounds are vast and there’s so much to explore it dos not really fit in a single day out.
We started with the Aviary and running around fountains when the first shower of the day rushed us in Waddesdon Manor lovely restaurant. The Manor restaurant’s decor and the food are quaint and delish. We indulged in seafood express menu, duck and fish and chips, whilst kids shared a pizza, sausages, and vegetables.
The restaurant is very conveniently located just on the side of the country house, so parents took turns waiting for the food /having wine and keeping an eye on the kids outside. As naturally the kiddies decided that a little rain will not delay their exploring and running around! Restaurant staff has been the most delightful and accommodating, making us feel so welcome despite kids cheekiness and little patience. We will be back, Waddesdon Manor afternoon tea is calling and luring us back again.
The sculptures just in front of Waddesdon Manor are a great clue of what Rothschild family excels at (aside banking and art!). Waddesdon Manor National Trust hosts the largest private collection of Rothschild wines worldwide, over 150,000 bottles in their cellars. We had to buy and test some, thrilled to confirm they were a treat. Also at £10 a bottle, will be back for more!
The nature playground was next: 10 minutes delightful walk from the Manor.
The Stables are also next to the playground: coffee shop and very cool art exhibition and contemporary design at its best – Creatures & Creations.
The next shower of the day rushed us back to the Manor right in time for our timed tickets for the House. My years old and his friend 5 years old embarked with us on the tour, looking for clues in the stately apartments.
Our kids consistently corrected us: Waddesdon is a chateau and a palace, definitely not a house.
Exquisite rich interiors full of history and meanings from past lives, French Calendars, Tales from the Archives, dining tables and Drawing Rooms – it took us over an hour to fully explore. My 4 years old alternated between mischief, curiosity and an urge to head back to the next room and/ or playground.
His friend who is 5, got very engaged in the trail and clues. All this time, our 17 months slept peacefully after a very busy half day – walking up just in time for afternoon gouté.
A delightful dayout with the drive from Kensington just over an hour – cannot recommend warmly enough.
Waddesdon Manor is even more glorious at Christmas, there’s festive exquisite decorations, music-themed displays to winter light trails and fair, sparkle, glamour and fun. An award-winning Christmas experience and Winter Wonderland, read all about on Museum Mum delightful article: Christmas at Waddesdon Manor with kids.
For more inspiration on glorious days out, check also Wimpole Estate Cambridge, dedicated article in here. For our best day trips within an hour drive from London, head here. Time constraint and only half day available? Head then here for 6 fabulous gardens and gorgeous countryside within 30 minutes drive from London.
PS: National Trust kindly provided us with day passes – many thanks again. We paid for Waddesdon manor afternoon tea & lunches with kids ourselves and very much enjoyed. Mischievous kids, pics and impressions, entirely ours.